Principle number four: Humane technology should resonate with the human senses, rather than numbing them.
If you’re an office worker or a video game fanatic, you may spend most of your waking hours staring at a screen, and not tasting, touching, or smelling much of anything. How much more engaging would the constructed environment be if we had squishy computers or scented information? This is the basis of information decoration, which attempts to expand the digital interface beyond the flat screen of a computer or cell phone.
Humane technology recognizes that humans are sensory organisms, made to live in a rich three-dimensional environment. Neurologists have counted between 9 and 20 difference human senses. It’s time we engage more than just the ones required to operate a computer. That blaring 7 AM alarm may be the norm, but it feels better to be awoken by the gradual glow of a sunrise-style lamp or pillow.